Bitter Orange perfume or fragrance note, also known as Seville orange (Bigarade orange) is one of the most important citruses used in modern perfume industry. The Seville orange give us four different essences, bitter orange comes from the peels of this type of orange and is also a source of orange blossom, petitgrain and neroli extracts, all used in the creation of fragrance. Bitter Orange is normally a middle note in a fragrance. The bitter orange note can be described as a sweet orange smell crossed with a slightly bitter grapefruit smell. Petitgrain has a woody but slightly floral aroma. Neroli, also known as orange flower, is steam distilled from the bitter orange tree flower and has a subtle sweet floral aroma and the Neroli Petigrain is gained from the distilling process of the entire flowering branch of the bitter orange tree which gives it a woody complex aroma.
Today, bitter orange is mainly used for production of essential oils, which are used in the perfume industry and as a flavoring. As far back as the sixteenth century the bitter orange was grown in the South of France. It was grown and harvested for producing orange flower water by a process known as distilling. This water was then used as a perfume and a flavorant. This type of orange is not edible like the rest of the commonly grown oranges; however it is frequently used processed, especially in production of bitters, jams, marmalades and to flavor tea. It is also used in some traditional Chinese medicine and in the Amazon by the indigenous people for nausea and indigestion. There is belief that bitter orange may help with heartburn, weight loss and nasal congestion. In Aromatherapy the bitter orange is believed to have a calming effect on nerves and may help reduce fatigue or anxiety. It is also believed to invigorate the spirit.
The Bitter Orange tree, native of eastern Africa and tropical Asia is also grown today in the Mediterranean region and also in California and Florida. Bitter orange grows in warm parts of the world, but the best quality oil is produced from the peel from Spanish and Guinean oranges.